Baldwinsville Mayor Joseph Saraceni and I met at Canal Walk Café last Tuesday and talked about all the events happening in and around Baldwinsville and how exciting and busy the month of May was for our community. He talked about this Saturday’s Kiwanis Fishing Derby, noting, “We’re a river town and we should be fishing.” He also talked about Baldwinsville evolving into an entertainment destination.
“You can walk on any given Friday night and hear live music at four or five different venues,” he said, adding that was a feature that visitors enjoyed.
“People are coming by water way and taking advantage of our wall facilities,” he said. “I always talk to the loopers – they travel the Erie Canal to the Hudson then along the coast to Florida, up the Mississippi River and back through the Great Lakes – they enjoy the proximity of the wall to downtown, as well as the amenities.”
One event, in particular, got him talking about his own personal experience – Wild Carp Week.
Canal Walk Café owner Dawn Custer briefly took over my role as interviewer and asked the mayor about the longevity of the tournament, to which Joe replied, “As long as we have organizers like Jason Bernhardt, Baldwinsville can continue to welcome this event.” He added that this year there were some strategies used by participants that were “ruffling some feathers,” but were legal, and the largest carp caught as of Tuesday morning was 36 pounds.
He also brought up the Celebrity Carp Challenge, in which he was one of five participants. He said no one caught any fish until after the time was up, so each of them received first place and a fifth of the $10,000 award, which was donated to a charity of each person’s choice. Joe donated his $2,000 to the Greater Baldwinsville Community Benefit Fund. “The money stays in the community and assists organizations that are culturally and educationally minded while alleviating the cost burden on local government,” Joe said about GBCBF. He closed our conversation with a unique insight about the sport of “carp”ing.
“Carp fishing is interesting. Every year I learn about different [carp] splinter groups,” Joe said, adding that this year he met a guy who only fishes for carp in peculiar places such as culverts.
Mayor Saraceni and Editor Wisneski are scheduled to meet for coffee again at 9 a.m. Tuesday, June 5, at Cottage Restaurant, 21 Oswego St., B’ville. Community members are welcome to join them for coffee and address concerns about the village with the mayor or send your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org and Editor Wisneski will ask the mayor for you.